One of the most important concepts you should have in mind when creating your toddler lesson plans is to make the lesson an active, hands-on lesson. Your toddlers learn by doing. If you simply try to explain and talk about something, your message will be lost to several of your students whose listening skills or cognitive skills are not as developed as your older preschoolers.
During your preschool lessons, provide an idea or concept, in circle time or drawing on the board, but then let them use the idea while relating it to something they understand in their world. This connection of a concrete object or activity that they know with the concept that you are teaching them is critical.
Here are examples of toddler lesson plans teaching shapes. Circles and squares are fun, easy to identify and draw correlations with food, toys, houses, all things in a toddler's world.
Materials- construction paper, glue, cut outs of different sized circles
1- The night before the craft, cut out a number of different sized circles in a variety of colors.
2- For the craft, let the children make an animal of their design using the different sized circle cut-outs. Use one or two big circles for the body, and smaller circles for the head and legs. Show an example first and let the children use their imaginations to make their own Circle Critter.
(For younger children, you may want to give them an example such as a pretend bug. Use a large circle for the body and smaller one for the head.) The key here is to let them use their imagination to create any kind of creature.
Have the children lay down on the ground. Arrange them in either a circle or square and have them try and guess which shape they are forming with their bodies. Take a picture with a digital camera to show them what they look like from above. Afterwards, give each child a pipe cleaner that’s been bent to resemble a square and see if they can bend it into a circle shape. Use this to emphasize that circles are round, and squares have corners.
1- Give the children a few circular shaped crackers and a few square shaped crackers. Now give them circle-shaped pieces of cheese and square-shaped pieces of cheese and let them mix-and-match with the crackers before eating.
If you use this basic yet essential concept when coming up with your own toddler lesson plans will provide just the basis you need for asuccessful lesson plans for your preschool, or if you are the parent of a toddler teaching your own child.